Favourites of the Moon is a vertiginous comedy on love and crime in 1980s Paris | Film of the Week

Favourites of the Moon is a vertiginous comedy on love and crime in 1980s Paris | Film of the Week

9 December 2021

This fast-paced absurdist action comedy follows an array of characters: a police inspector, an art collector, a young hairdresser, a group of homeless anarchists and punk musicians, a terrorist, and an undercover bomb maker, as their paths intertwine in bizzare twists of fate. Released in 1984, it scooped the Jury Prize at Venice Film Festival that very same year.

Written and directed by the acclaimed Georgian-born, France-based director Otar Iosseliani, this French-language film offers a rare glimpse into the fabric of 1980s Parisian society. Favourites of the Moon was not only the first film he shot in France but the first film he made in exile, after his previous two films were denied distribution in Georgia. The crime comedy revolves around two objects: a 19th-century painting and an 18th-century china porcelain set. While some of the characters claim them as their own, the rest only get a chance encounter with the precious items. Iosseliani brings his eclectic Parisian community to life without judgment or praise, instead revealing the forces that drive them — love, profit, and fun. With multiple narratives unfolding simultaneously, this film might seem unwieldy, if it weren’t for the witty dialogues and cinematic elegance that bind them together (in actual fact, the film is undeniably engaging and quite easy to follow).

Featuring vast amounts of chain smoking, love affairs, intrigue, slapstick humour, and yes, Georgian polyphonic singing, Favourites of the Moon is a jovial watch for the holiday season. Disclaimer: dogs are the only non-smoking living creatures in the film.

Watch on Amazon Prime.

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